Weights were lifted, tires were flipped and sandbags were tossed as hundreds of people cheered on at the Fort McMurray Food Festival’s strongman and strongwoman competition on Sunday.
The competition was held at Shell Place during the food festival’s Community Breakfast, albeit with heavy COVID-19 restrictions in place.
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Gallery: Smaller food festival's Community Breakfast brings strong turnoutBack to video
To meet health guidelines, the event offered pre-packaged breakfast burritos instead of freshly made pancakes as in previous years.
Chairs at the event were physically distanced, hand sanitizer was found throughout the venue and no more than 200 people were allowed at the event area. Volunteers gave out free masks.
“We thought it was important to do something that was modified to meet the needs of Alberta Health guidelines… but also give our residents something to do this summer, something to feel a part of this community,” said Councillor Krista Balsom, who is on the event’s committee. “Doing everything we can to ensure safety at every event is paramount.”
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“It looks very different, but if we can still raise funds for Waypoints in a year like this one—they need the money more than ever—I think that’s very important,” said Balsom. “We’ve seen across the province, across the country cases of domestic violence have gone up and the work that Waypoints does to support the community is now more than ever important.”
Mayor Don Scott, who tried his hand at throwing a weighted sandbag over a 12-foot bar, said he was glad people are getting out and having a good time. He said he wasn’t concerned about the outdoor event being held.
“They took a lot of precautions,” he said. “People were very safe today, I was proud to see that.”
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